Anantnag: For the last four days, dozens of DNB students have been holding a sit-in protest outside the office of Principal Government Medical College (GMC), Anantnag in Janglat Mandi locality of the town to protest over the non-payment of their monthly stipends.
At least 44 DNB students, mostly outstation students, have not received their stipends for the past five months, spurring them to go on a protracted strike.
The students have been pursuing DNB courses in different streams since October 2022.
Although initially their stipend was released erratically, since April they did not receive it.
"Many of us are from outside J&K and have families back home. We are unable to make ends meet," the students said.
They said that they recently met with the Secretary, Health and Medical Education Department, but to no avail.
"We also filed an online complaint with the Governor's Grievance Cell, but we did not receive any positive response," they said.
The students said that they continued their services smoothly despite facing a flurry of problems due to non-payment of their stipends.
"Now it has begun gnawing at us," said a female student.
She said that they were grappling with financial issues.
On July 19, Principal GMC Anantnag Dr Tariq Syed Qureshi (now retired) had also sent a letter to the Secretary Health and Medical Education seeking release of additional funds under the “scholarship and stipend” head.
"It is intimated that 44 candidates are pursuing their DNB courses in different streams of this college presently. However, the budgetary provisions under the ‘Stipend and Scholarship’ head are not enough to meet out their monthly stipend," reads the letter.
The official, in the letter, mentioned that 50 percent share amounting to Rs 52.50 lakh already received had been exhausted fully for the stipend of these candidates since their joining till March 2023.
"All our requests went unheeded. We appeal to the authorities to release our stipend forthwith," said the students.